The parent company of the Wall Street Journal has ordered its employees to return to the office at least three days per week.
- A leaked memo from the Wall Street Journal’s parent company News Corp. outlined plans from company CEO Robert Thomson for employees to return to the office.
- In the memo, first reported by Insider, Thomson asked employees to be in the office three days per week, calling in-person work “an absolute imperative.”
- The call for a return to the office came shortly after Dow Jones laid off 2% of its employees. As a division of News Corp., Dow Jones oversees publications including the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, and Barron’s.
- Last September, the Wall Street Journal ordered employees to return to work three days per week, but this latest memo indicates that not all employees complied.
Why it’s news
Many companies struggle to convince employees to return to the office. Initially, employers attempted to entice employees back to work by offering happy hours, corporate lunches, and other incentives.
However, many employees prefer the flexibility remote work gives them. In September, around the same time the Wall Street Journal first ordered employees back to the office, the New York Times attempted to convince its employees to return.
The NYT offered its employees branded lunch boxes in exchange for working from the office, but around 1,300 staff swore not to return. Staff argued that remote work allowed them to save money on gas and transportation fees and lunch expenses, Fortune reports.
News Corp.’s decision to convince employees to return to the office coincides with the company’s lease renewal on its Midtown office location.
Wall Street Journal CEO Robert Thomson argues that company culture is hurt by remote work. “Screens deny us the subtleties of body language and the nuances of knowing glances. The spontaneity and serendipity of a dynamic office environment.”